Walt Disney 2020
Day 6: Disney Springs: Balloon flying, boat cars, and terrible bowling skills kinda day with T-Rex.
Today was a "sleep in" type of day even though I'm so used to being up early that it wasn't much of a sleep in day for me. But, Sakari made the most of it...so much that I ended up having to wake her up for breakfast and to get her going for the day.
We didn't have a theme park planned for the day (trying to spread out the parks every other day) but I did have plans to head back to Disney Springs to do some activities today and I promised Sakari "no shopping" for me. I ask Sakari if she wanted her coat and got the reply "My skin is my coat". Alrighty then. I was taking mine just in case (even though I didn't end up using it).
We loaded the address back in the GPS...I bet you can guess what happens next...it took us a different way there! It took us the way of going in town and not on the freeway. This time we came in from a different direction and was able to get right into the parking lot with no issues and no U-turns. Ohhhhh, ok, I see why it took me this way now. Much easier and no $1.00 tolls! Me likey.
We found our "I can't walk far" parking spot and headed to the elevator to go upstiars where we would, once again, have to walk all the way down to the other side of the parking lot, around the barriers, and back down to where we started at. They scanned our heads with this little brain monitor to see if there was any intelligence inside. She said "ok". What do you mean ok? I've had years and years of college education! I should be more than "ok". We were hurried along to the contraption that tells if there's any medal objects on you. Once again, we were "ok", even though I have plenty of medal in my foot now so I really don't understand these things.
We got our approval to head into Disney Springs and down the escalator we went to our first attraction. We were riding the hot air balloon.
History: Aerophile Balloon Flight: 8 minute tethered
ride in the world's largest hand-painted helium balloon.
This balloon was custom-built for Disney and filled
with 210,000 cubic feet of helium and ascends up to
400 feet in the air. The basket holds 29 people. Great
panoramic views up to 10 miles away on clear days.
Tickets are: $20 per adult 10 and older & $15 for
Ok, so it wasn't really a "hot air" balloon, but a helium balloon. I wondered why I didn't see any flames during our first visit. I wonder how they fill this thing up and how often.
We paid for our tickets and headed in line while we watched others on their ride. I couldn't wait to get pictures of Disney from here. Sakari had her Disney shirt on I bought here and thought she wouldn't wear.
Then it was our turn. Everyone got on and went around in the circle. The basket of the ride is round and the walkway goes around the edges. This is where you stand. The middle is completely open.
Up, up, and away we went. Soaring high above Disney Springs. It was at that point that I noticed we really hadn't been everywhere here and missed a lot. But, it was ok. I promised Sakari no shopping today and only activities. I mean I can always window shop as we walked by right?
We could see everything up there. However, we didn't know what anything was or what direction any of the theme parks were. It was weird that the "driver" of the balloon wasn't telling us anything. Usually they at least tell you what direction to look in and what is that way! I had to ask him "where is Disney?" He pointed in the direction on the other side of him. Well we couldn't see that way from where our spot was. I ask him if the balloon turns and he told me "no it's stationary". Well don't that bite! That was one of the main reasons I wanted to go up in it...to take a picture of Disney from there. Main reason, not only reason of course. I wanted the experience and to take pictures and of course to allow Sakari to experience it as well. But still...I was very disappointed in our positioning on the balloon.
We noticed a plane in the sky. It was going in weird directions. Then all of a sudden we noticed that it was spelling something. Now I know that the ride says 8 minutes long, but it really did feel like we were up there a very long time. This plane spelled out a very long sentence and we were up there long enough to see most of it. Here's the beginning of it.
It was time to come back down and the ride was neat, just not what I expected. I've been in hot air balloons before and today, I think I was expecting some heat! It was another somewhat chilly day but not too bad that it bothered me too much and I'm a cold natured person and don't tollerate the cold air too much.
I knew the next place I wanted to go and I just knew it was going to be the neatest thing ever! We were headed to the Amphicars! Now this is a bridge that we hadn't noticed before and we were about to head that direction.
The Amphicars....oh how neat. I have seen video's of them online but never really seen one in person and I knew that Sakari didn't know anything about them so this was going to be a treat! I REAL EXPENSIVE TREAT!
We made our way over and went into the
store to purchase our tickets. The ride is
$125 for up to 3 people (due to COVID
they aren't allowing the 4th person in the
front seat even though the driver was almost
sitting in my lap when I was in the back
seat). With tax, this "ride" ended up being
close to $140! You can get a $25 discount if you
eat at their restaurant. But, we already had
reservations for later that night. This ride last
20-25 minutes, according to their website. I can
tell you that it was EXACTLY 20 minutes too by
History: The BOATHOUSE® is the only place in the world that offers this experience in a vintage Amphicar. These rare cars drive on the land and enter the water with a splash, for a 20-25 minute tour of the landmarks of Disney Springs.
The fleet of Amphicars were purchased from private collections worldwide and there were less than 4,000 of these unique amphibious vehicles produced during the 1960's. Now, there's only 400 worldwide today!
They go about 7mph on the water and 70mph on land and that's why they are known as the Model 770. They were produced in Germany between 1961-1968, with around 3,000 of them making it to the US. For you car enthusiast, the car has a rear-mounted Triumph 1,124-cc inline-four which is rear wheel drive on land and has twin propellers mounted just behind the rear axels. The front tires steer the Amphicar out on the water by acting as rudders.
The owner spent 8 years trying to convince Disney of this idea. He is the mastermind of the popular themed restaurants like Rainforest Cafe, Yak & Yeti and T-Rex Cafe. The plus side was several former US Presidents owned these cars and took people rides in them. The hard part was making sure the cars would stay running and afloat and needed to be as sink-proof as possible. The factory pumps would allow 150-200 pounds of water to enter the hull before they would start pumping water out. The car was redesigned by this owner to include high-volume pumps, allowing water to pump out of the hull faster than it came in. There were actually 3,200 hidden components that he reworked from the exhaust to comfort and leg room. This required $65,000 to $75,000 worth of upgrades to each car.
If you want to read the full article on these cars, written by Hemmings, (it's very interesting) then you can find it here ----->
We got into the car (all of us in the back seat) and they closed the door. The driver immediately started making jokes. "Whatever you do, DON'T pull on this door handle or we will become a submarine". "No worries, this is the second time I've drove this thing and I'm an expert now". We laughed and giggled and knew this was about to be a good time.
A photographer came out and took our pictures sitting in the car. It was the only picture he took of us. I honestly think it would have been nice for him to take a picture of us entering the water and the big splash and also a picture of us sitting in the water in A CAR! It is more than doable because this place is a restaurant, which runs along the dock and there's an outside eating area on the back of it, backed up against the water. There's so many opportunities to take pictures entering and on the water. If I worked for this place and was the photographer, I would be bringing in so much money from these extra pictures!
Annnnndddddd.....here we go....weeeeee
I couldn't believe what a big splash it made! It was so fun and interesting. Our boat captain really reminded me of a skipper. He had bright red hair and the hat. You could tell he enjoyed his job.
As we putted around the Sassagoula River from one end to the other he would point out things and talk to us. Very nice guy.
This was so neat and you sat so low down to the water. Of course I was busy snapping pictures of everything! We headed from one side to the other. It was so pretty. There was a resort there and the lawn was full of birds. Santa was also out on the lake with his reindeer. For some reason I only caught the reindeer going by and not Santa way behind it. The Jolly old man must have been going too slow.
We headed down by the Aerophile Balloon and circled around.